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A New Look at Weak State Conditions and Genocide Risk

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  • Anderton Charles H.

    ()

  • Carter John R.

    (Professor Emeritus, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St., Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

Abstract

We present a rational choice model depicting a regime’s incentive to allocate resources to fighting rebels and killing civilians when it perceives an internal threat to its political or territorial control. The model guides our empirical inquiry of risk factors for genocide onset. Based on logit methods applied to a pooled sample of 155 countries over the period 1955–2006, we find that key variables highlighted in the theoretical model elevate genocide risk. Specifically, measures of threat, anocratic Polity scores, new state status, and low income significantly increase genocide risk, which we interpret as consistent with weak state perspectives on mass atrocity. Moreover, the threat measures matter even after controlling for internal war and the anocracy result holds even after removing components of the Polity dataset that are “contaminated” with factional violence, including genocide. Extensions of the empirical analysis to a variety of alternative measures, variables, and estimators show the robustness of weak state risk factors for genocide.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderton Charles H. & Carter John R., 2015. "A New Look at Weak State Conditions and Genocide Risk," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:21:y:2015:i:1:p:1-36:n:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Anderton, 2015. "Genocide: Perspectives from the Social Sciences," Working Papers 1508, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:205-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. De Luca, Giacomo & Sekeris, Petros G. & Vargas, Juan F., 2018. "Beyond divide and rule: Weak dictators, natural resources and civil conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 205-221.

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